[Run time = 26 min.] I’ve posted about LivingHomes here, here, and here. Well, Steve Glenn is the company’s CEO and Founder and he has some interesting things to say. If you’re still unsure about his green cred, he built the first LEED Platinum home in the United States (with the design help of Ray Kappe). Enjoy…
If you’re going to office in what looks to be the greenest skyscraper in the country, you should also have a sustainable business strategy to go along with it. One Bryant Park, soon to be known as the Bank of America Tower, is the perfect place for a company that just announced a $20B initiative to support environmental lending. Designed by Cook + Fox Architects and developed by the Durst Organization, One Bryant Park is shooting for LEED Platinum certification. It’s a 2.1 million sf, 54-story, crystalline office tower located right in midtown Manhattan and is slated for completion in 2008.
ABC News recently ran an article on some of the more interesting green features of the building. Interestingly, it will only cost about 1-2% extra (of a total $1.2B) to include all the green additions, but those are expected to be paid for within a 2-4 year window as a result of saved energy expenses. That’s the business case for green building. There will be rainwater capture, floor-to-ceiling windows for natural lighting, advanced double wall technology to allow light and block heat, air cleaned of 95% of its particle matter, a floor duct air system controllable in each room or office, three state-of-the-art natural gas fuel cells to create on-site energy, building concrete made of 45% blast furnace slag for stronger construction, and daylight dimming and LED lights for reduced electric usage. The result: these green additions have the anticipated benefits of reducing energy consumption by 50%, reducing potable water consumption by 50%, reducing storm water contribution by 95%, and using about 50% recycled materials in construction. That’s a lighter footprint.
- Bank of America Announces $20 Billion Environmental Initiative – BofA announced a $20 billion initiative to support the growth of environmentally sustainable business activity to address global climate change. Bank of America’s ten-year initiative encourages development of environmentally sustainable business practices through lending, investing, philanthropy and the creation of new products and services.
- Residential Green Building Slow to Gain Momentum – The major homebuilders, who account for 80 percent of all homebuilding activity in the nation, face a unique challenge in implementing green building on a widespread scale. Many have added energy-saving features and experimented with environmentally friendly materials but have not yet been able to sign on a critical mass of buyers willing to pay more for them.
- Easy, Eco-friendly Ways to Put Those 21 Extra Hours of Evening Daylight to Good Use This Spring – Tomorrow, the entire nation will spring forward three weeks early, gaining an extra 21 hours of evening daylight. Since energy conservation is the driving force for the early time change, Lowe’s is encouraging homeowners to utilize these hours wisely with some simple, green projects that would make Mother Nature smile.
Don’t forget to spring forward tonight.
This is the K1 from kitHAUS, which is a prefab company based in Van Nuys, California. The K1 is 289 sf and costs around $59,000. kitHAUS has a series of modules that can be paired (or not) to create a small weekend retreat, backyard office or study, or gigantic residence. Plus, it can be off-grid or grid-tied with the optional solar setup, depending on your tastes.
"F2" is short for "Flickr Friday," a weekly short posted on Friday with an image from Flickr and a quick description. Feel free to email me your F2 ideas.
Tonight, I had the great opportunity to talk with Ed Begley Jr. at the unveiling of the Phoenix Sport Utility Truck in Dallas, Texas. Ed is a really nice guy, and he’s smart, too. He knows his stuff. He was showcasing the Phoenix SUT, which is a five-passenger, all-electric, freeway-speed sport utility truck. I test drove it and had a good time. I see the future with this thing. I really do. Actually, I punched it coming off the line, and it had some get up and go.
Guest post contributed by Kent Swanson, a freelance writer specializing in environmental issues. Kent’s writing is also featured on Practical Environmentalist, Clean Air Gardening: Organic Gardening Advice, and Ecobackyard.
When we think of green architecture, sometimes we forget that our landscaping can have a big impact on how efficient and sustainable a building is in the long run. For example, a few strategically planted trees can help to cool off a building and reduce the amount of energy allocated to air conditioning. The following is a list of 11 suggestions to create an eco-friendly landscape that will complement a holistic approach to green building design. Incorporating a few of these ideas will help you save energy and water, and also reduce environmental contamination. If you’d like to make a suggestion on how to use landscaping to reduce your environmental footprint, please leave a comment!
(1) Incorporate Native Plants in Your Landscaping
When planning your landscape, consider using a collection of native plants. Native plants are adapted to your area, which means they naturally require less maintenance and water than exotic plants. They are also more resistant to pests and diseases than many exotics, reducing the need for pesticides. Additionally, native plants attract native wildlife and beneficial insects. You don’t need to exclude exotic plants from your yard and garden, but incorporating natives in your design can make a big difference. The U.S. EPA’s Greenacres Program is a great place to look for information on using native plants for home landscaping.